On 26 July 2007 the Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act 2007 received Royal Assent, and it will come into effect on 6 April 2008. This new law and its implications, together with the related subject of negligence, are discussed in an article on the Pilz website.
The HSE (Health and Safety Executive) states the main thrust of the law as follows: "For the first time, companies and organisations can be found guilty of corporate manslaughter as a result of serious management failures resulting in a gross breach of a duty of care." Strictly speaking, the new offence is not part of health and safety law. However, it introduces an important new element in the corporate management of health and safety, and the HSE therefore says that it welcomes and supports the new Act. Indeed, the HSE has created a new section on its website dedicated to Corporate manslaughter.
This includes a number of useful resources in the form of FAQs (frequently asked questions), downloads and a reminder of the HSE Infoline telephone number.
The FAQs cover a wide range of topics, such as duties and obligations under the Act, how to comply, who might be prosecuted, sources of advice and guidance, and penalties for non-compliance (which includes unlimited fines, remedial orders and publicity orders).
Currently the 'downloads' are restricted to links to an online copy of the Act and the Ministry of Justice website, plus HSE internal guidance documents for the investigation of work-related deaths.
For those wishing to learn more about the management of health and safety, Pilz Automation Technology offers an accredited IOSH Managing Safely course with an additional in-depth module covering machinery and work equipment. It is aimed primarily at managers, engineers, supervisors and others in an organisation with responsibility for ensuring compliance with corporate policy and legislative requirements - such as engineering/line supervisors and general managers.
Please contact Pilz to request more information about the IOSH-accredited 'Managing Safely combined with Machinery and Work Equipment Safety' course.